I'm grateful for the reminder of what it's like to be a student again, as we experienced today during the reporting simulation. What a good reminder that learning can be completely engaging AND fun. We weren't even writing, contrary to what many students think journalism is all about; instead, we analyzed, probed, observed, tried different tactics and approaches, worked as a team, problem-solved, delegated, and discussed. I do truly believe, as Diana Mitsu Klos said the first night, that journalism has the potential to teach students more real-world skills than any other class or club on campus. I'm excited to keep learning and doing, experiencing and reflecting...
... and adapting. I would guess that we are all continually asking ourselves, "How can this work in my classroom?" Our simulation today took almost two hours (including the debrief), which is probably more than the average high school class period allows. Even with my 100-minute block classes, I'd hate to have to stop this activity and continue the next day, losing momentum. How can we adapt it?
I remember doing a similar exercise when I was a high school journalist at summer writing bootcamp, but the situation was an earthquake, and we had to interview multiple sources to find the number of injuries. This simpler scenario might save time in eliminating today's complicated background information (a tax evasion case where the accused is trying to change her plea to perhaps avoid testifying against the rising mafia boss Steve Elliott) I'll see if I can find that lesson plan, but do others have ideas on adapting this for a shorter time period or for your particular level of students?
Thirty-four high school journalism educators from around the country traveled to Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in June 2010 for the ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. This blog carries their thoughts and information about the program.
The institute, one of five held around the country, is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation administered by the American Society of News Editors.